I’m the principal at Dirks-Anderson Elementary School in Fort Davis with 92 students enrolled, PreK-Grade 5. It’s a small school compared to Marfa and Alpine. Our school was built in 1924. It’s adobe and has beautiful wooden floors. In addition to all the academics we have to teach, love and kindness are an important part of our day, every day. In fact, this year, the staff wear a t-shirt every Monday with the words Choose Kindness printed on it
It’s not unusual to hear a teacher say “I love you” to a student at the end of the day or at the end of a disciplinary meeting. It might go like – “ ‘By sweetie. I love you. See you tomorrow.” Or, “You can’t continue not turning in your homework. It’s important. I’m not mad at you. I love you, so I have high expectations for you.”
The kindergarten teacher Shera Welch is one who regularly tells her students “I love you.” I always smile when I hear this exchange.
Recently, as I walked down the hallway I saw the kindergarten class waiting in line. There is nothing that can make me smile more than this class of 9 who smile and laugh and hug so easily. As I walked by, Analie looks at me, smiles, and says “I love you.” And, I answer without missing a beat, “I love you too Analie.
A few days later another kindergarten student Adelyn says “I love you Ms Scott.” as she’s walking down the hallway. And before you know it we are throwing “I love you” all around to students and to teachers.
As we leave for a long weekend or before taking a trip, a staff member hugs the other and says something like, “Safe travels and I love you.” When one of our family members is sick or in a hard place, we text or call and say I’m with you or you’re in my prayers and always I love you.
Love. It’s so important to share this word with all those around us. Instead of being afraid of the word, afraid of saying the word, embrace it and share it. In the words of the Beatles, Love is all you need.